Between 1985 and about 1994, it was very important to me that I share my obsessions with other people.  Sure, I was just seeking validation, but I still vividly remember the teenage mortification of trying to play a cool Monkees song for someone, but having to skip a terrible pop atrocity or novelty track to get there.  I am still quite entertained by fellow card-carrying nerds who can tell you each stat bonus on their character sheet or the complete life history of Batman, but find my enjoyment of Power Rangers/Super Sentai to be somehow déclassé.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is less question and more philosophical musing:  Why would we ever feel ashamed of our pop culture obsessions?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. The Great NateO
    May 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm — Reply

    Well first of all anyone that thinks that “Power Rangers/Super Sentai to be somehow déclassé” well let’s just say not everyone is a winner like you.

    I know in my life I never have felt ashamed, it is always been what make me, well Great :)

    But we are talking about obsessions and yes they can go too far. The only way I know I would feel ashamed is if it affected my family in any way that damaged their way of life. But as it is now my wife allows me my obsessions and my family is better off for them.

    No one should feel ashamed for enjoying something they like. Not one person likes everything and not one thing is liked by everyone. So – Go Go Power Rangers!

  2. May 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm — Reply

    Most people seem to have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention things from Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, etc. unless I point out the “American equivalent” (if there is one). Like when I was playing around with my toy Mobirate my Japanese friends sent me because they had sent me a few more Ranger Keys and my friend asked why the Japanese remade Power Rangers. Or how people used to not get my old Doctor Who references until the series revived a few years ago.

    I don’t really feel ashamed of the things I like most of the time. Heck, my main wheelchair is decked out with Decepticon logos and colors and I’m 32 years old.

    • May 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm — Reply

      Ahh! You got a Mobirate???

      My daughter has me scouring for a Big One Ranger Key….

      • May 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm — Reply

        Before they sent me one, I’d been looking around for one for a reasonable price as well. If I manage to get a second (because they still have more Ranger Keys to send me and I’m 99% sure there are going to be more duplicates because of the multipacks, I already have duplicates of a couple other keys) I’ll let you know.

  3. May 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    My immediate family has proven to be an example of “keep it to yourself”. We’re the crazy hippie branch mostly because we aren’t rednecks & see nothing wrong with having two incomes, so I’ve grown up having to keep a lot of my likes & dislikes of many stripes to myself at family gatherings just to keep the peace. The same applies in a slightly different way when dealing with, say, a coworker who carries a Twilight tote bag but thinks that superheroes & video games are totally horrid.

    It’s a joy to find places like Major Spoilers, where you can share what you love. But otherwise, I’ve found the best way to avoid grief & not seem like a douche is to keep what I love in my heart, not on my lips.

  4. Dan
    May 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    I have been one of the lucky nerds/geeks in life that has had a whole family adopt me that is nerdy/geeky. A lot like Stephens wife my wife tolerates my nerdy habits. She doesn’t want me to change but doesn’t mind it when I don’t drop $30+ every wednesday. My adoptive family embraces all of my nerdy habits. They encourage me to try new titles or other geeky stuffs.

    But majorspoilers (not a plug just truth) is a great place for me to get a sampling of titles that I wouldn’t really look at. Because I do really value the reviews and opinions that are put up.

  5. B.V.K.
    May 5, 2012 at 12:12 am — Reply

    Speaking for myself, it has to do with the company I am in. If I am in the presence of close friends or fellow nerds then I will geek out at will. If I am around someone in my professional life or someone that I am still feeling out then my geekery will be reserved. I don’t do this because I am ashamed of my interests, instead I see it as not throwing my perverbial perals before potential swine. Im not going to waste awesomeness on those who do not appreciate such things. However, once I have gotten to know someone and shared some interests with them (such as the Walking Dead comic, Fables, assorted video games, etc.) I have had quite a few converts into geek culture.

  6. May 6, 2012 at 10:33 am — Reply

    There’s a lot of stuff that can go into this, we’ve all experienced being scoffed at for being nerdy, but we’ve also experienced that nerdy guy coming up and talking your ear off about something you have no interest in. You have to know your audience and that nerdshame is your brain trying to prevent you from losing face.

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